Social Enterprise Conference 2016

On Thursday 19 May, DUSA club SeCo (Social Enterprise Collective) hosted the third annual social enterprise conference on-campus, featuring a number of inspiring change-makers and go-getters as guest speakers. The crowd got to hear from Thankyou’s Justine Flynn, Hunter Johnson from The Man Cave and Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), Long St Coffee’s Jane Marx, and Andrew Mahar from xpand Foundation.  Through listening to each of the speakers, their stories, and their advice, it was clear that each of them represented integral aspects of social enterprises that also brought to light the things they value personally.

Perhaps best known to the crowd was Thankyou’s Cofounder and Director of Brand and People, Justine Flynn. Thankyou was created by this brilliant woman, mother, and Deakin alumni, and her husband Daniel with the aim of funding life-changing water, food, and hygiene and sanitation projects through their sales. For Justine and Daniel, it all started with bottled water, which globally we spend over $60 billion on every year. Meanwhile, a quick web-search reveals that 783 million people around the world don’t have access to safe drinking water. This was the first global problem that Thankyou aimed to alleviate, and their goals have broadened to funding other projects to help people in need since, with over $3.7 million given so far.

But the start was bumpy, from teachers discouraging the initial idea, to problems with the factory and distributor, and overall the fact that Justine and Daniel started Thankyou without really knowing what they were doing. However, there was plenty of generosity and luck, including a gift of $20,000 from a marketing teacher, and the success of the Coles and Woolworths Campaign, in which a helicopter with a banner flew around the supermarkets’ headquarters asking them to stock the Thankyou brand.

The second speaker of the evening was philanthropist and man of laughs, Hunter Johnson, Cofounder of The Man Cave and Innovation Manager at Foundation for Young Australians (FYA). Hunter started with a story about how he went from a hyper-masculine athletic upbringing to being involved with social enterprises after a horrific football injury that nearly took his life.

FYA is Australia’s largest youth foundation which teaches young people entrepreneurial skills and backs up other similar programs, extending their resources to remote and regional areas. In his role with FYA, Hunter said, ‘I literally get paid to work with young people. I work with five year olds. And I work with thirty year olds. And some thirty year olds act like five year olds.’

By cofounding The Man Cave, Hunter hopes to tackle the toxic masculine mindset that says all men must be strong, athletic, and emotionless by providing a preventative mental health and emotional intelligence program. This builds support and tools to strengthen the emotional literacy of the male population.

‘Emotional literacy, especially with young guys, is stunted,’ Hunter said.

The Man Cave deconstructs, challenges and redefines what it means to be a man. The Man Cave runs different activities such as word and image association games that encourage discussion and critical non-judgemental evaluation of the self, perpetuating a healthier discourse around men and their emotions and ideals.

Next we got to hear from Jane Marx from Long St Coffee, which started  when Jane was volunteering her time to teach English to asylum seekers and refugees in Collingwood and coming to understand the lack of work opportunities these people had available to them after fleeing their war-ravaged homelands and settling in Australia. With a strong hospitality background and a passion for human rights and change-making, Jane and her partner Francois started a series of pop-up cafes which eventually grew into the establishment which is now Long St Coffee.

Long St Coffee provides six months of training through part-time internships for refugees seeking asylum, under the age of twenty-five, with no previous hospitality experience required. They secured funding for their social enterprise through competitions, bank loans, crowdfunding, and even personal savings.

The final speaker for the night was social enterprise veteran Andrew Mahar, who has been in the change-making business for over twenty-five years. Andrew’s current work is through the xpand Foundation, which supports several initiatives in Timore Leste: InfoTimor, WithOneSeed, WithOnePlanet, and WithOneBean.

InfoTimor aims to create positive social change through the use of information communication technology. Through this initiative, people from Timore Leste were trained in order to be able to maintain the technology Andrew and the InfoTimore team set up for them. The WithOneSeed initiative led Andrew to meet Tim Flannery, with whom Andrew discussed the idea of replanting the forests in Timore Leste and creating opportunities for the communities there by paying them to care for the new trees. Timore Leste, like many other places around the world, relies heavily on fossil fuel, and the cycle of deforestation, top-soil erosion, and failing cash crops shows the impact using these non-renewable resources can have on a community. Replanting forests also takes a step towards countering the effects of fossil fuel carbon emissions.

‘4% of carbon emissions come from the technology we use,’ Andrew said.

WithOnePlanet strives towards climate change education by linking school communities from Australia and Timore Leste and challenges students to think about carbon, culture, and citizenship in line with Australian Curriculum. The initiative encourages them to think about creating an environmentally sustainable future. The last initiative that xpand Foundation supports is WithOneBean, which supports coffee farmers in Timore Leste, working to end poverty and hunger, replant the forests, promote education, and replenish the planet with its organic, ethically, socially and environmentally sourced coffee.

Through listening to the stories being told by each speaker and the impact they are making around the world, many positive characteristics shone through to embody what social enterprises are really about. Justine’s Thankyou story was one of courage and bravery, not only in facing hardships, but also in trying something new, failing, and learning. Many of the jobs we do can be broken using the 80-15-5 rule, in which 80% of what you do can be done by someone else, someone can be trained to do 15%, and only 5% is something that only really you can do—and that should be your focus and your purpose.

‘Your WHY is your biggest anchor.’

Hunter shared how he found his purpose during his recovery, when he was depressed because he wouldn’t be able to play sports again and he felt like he had lost his masculine identity. One day, his grandfather said, ‘If you were so good at sport, why couldn’t you put that energy towards something a little more meaningful?’

This imparting of wisdom helped Hunter to become aware that he’d been defined by stereotypes of masculinity when he didn’t need to be, and strive to change that within himself and the world around him. Similarly, Jane had to challenge dominant social values in order to get Long St Coffee up and running. There has been ongoing negativity around asylum seekers from many Australians who make assumptions about how and why these people are different. Jane talked about how teaching these young people employable hospitality skills and letting them serve people coffee and meals helps to normalise their presence. Long St Coffee is creating a change in the way people think about refugees and asylum seekers to encourage a more inclusive and culturally diverse Australia, which will only serve to create more opportunities for these hard-working people.

‘We were very creative about who we asked for help,’ Jane said, listing off a plumber, two property lawyers and a cobbler who helped them get started.

Jane’s conviction and creativity in making change is also embodied by Andrew, who has maintained his drive for doing good in the world for a long time and has strived to address numerous global issues in innovative ways.

Andrew defines a social enterprise as a business model which is about delivering community wealth, and this is reflected through the goals and values of each of the speakers and their social enterprises.

‘Social enterprise is about community. It’s not about one person. That’s really important,’ Andrew said.

And when questioned about their views on failure, another thing they all had in common was their ability to view bumps in the road as opportunities to learn and try again rather than reasons to give up—to be honoured rather than feared.

‘Sometimes we have to blaze trails and we have to learn as we go,’ Justine said of her experience with Thankyou.

The speakers at the Social Enterprise Conference shared inspiring stories of failing, learning, and successful change-making. But more than that, Justine, Hunter, Jane, and Andrew encouraged us to be conscious of the products we consume and how our decisions could shape the world around us. Everyone has the potential to make a difference and should strive to do so, even in small ways. That’s not to say that everyone should start their own social enterprise, but simply by thinking like a social entrepreneur and seeing what changes you could make to your lifestyle, and subsequently the world around you. If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

Words by Bonnee Crawford. 


Floating In-Out (Same Boat)

I’m being told, constantly
And constantly ‘being’ something
Whoever the ‘they’ are,
They’re great at convincing me of who ‘I’ am, of who ‘we’ are
It’s a riddle wrapped in a puzzle,
A conundrum, without a doubt

Jeff told me that he would make a million dollars by age 23,
I believed him

Jason told me that he had thought long and hard but that, at the end of the day,
He was ‘pretty sure’ that he wasn’t gay
I didn’t believe him

Jeff’s dead now
Jason’s married

Married to a wo-man
Married to a fe-male
Married to an ‘ideal’

You know, when you’re moving around, shackles will weigh you down, to be sure
But if you’re lost at sea, trying your best to float
They’ll kill you, however slowly

Married to a woman
A constant fog
Medication that’s purposefully administered

Ideals of the ‘they,’ enforced

The ‘ideal’:
Right Wing-Republican,
Straight-white, American Male’

Todd stood up and said it,
By some sort of goddamn miracle, I was ready
I heard him
I hear him in every quiet moment since
There is no respite

And I miss my friends
I’ll tell you this,
I fucking miss my friends

I’d floated for a long time,
27 years, A sodden-log in a sea wet with shit
Going with the flow
Taking the waves as they came
But seeing Jeff there, in that bed,
With the tubes and tape and wire running in and out of him,
Tributaries funnelling electric-life into a hollowed out husk,
An organism that had at one time been so robust,
So beautiful

I was overcome
Overcome, because it was the first time I ever recognised my friend
The first time I ever recognised him and everything that he had suffered through
That I had suffered through
That we all suffer through, every day of our lives

The ‘ideal,’ the ‘ideal,’ the ‘ideal,’

‘They’ have bestowed upon us their own image of what we ‘should’ be
‘They’ have created our shackles and we wear them willingly

But, you know, you can really only ever drown if you stay floating in the water

Words by TJ Boone

5 Things that Hurt on my Way Out

I was in early high school the first time I realised I wasn’t only attracted to guys. From a rural country area where all of the schools that weren’t considered ratty were religious, I’d been to a Catholic primary school and was attending a Christian high school when I first admitted to myself that I wasn’t straight. But I was raised by a relatively progressive family who had taught me that there was nothing wrong with liking the same sex and I didn’t really have a lot of friends, so I wasn’t particularly worried if my newfound sexuality made the other kids at school think I was weird. But despite these reassurances, coming out wasn’t as easy as I had pictured in my head and there have been many things along the way that hurt me.

  1. I was forced to tell my mum

I wasn’t afraid of coming out to the one girl at school who I considered at the time to be my best friend. I told her that, at the time, I liked girls and boys. And she was fine with it. Except with my confession to her came an unexpected pressure to come out to my mother, on my friend’s orders. To be perfectly honest, I wanted to tell my mum, but at that point in time, I certainly wasn’t ready. But when the only person you feel you can be open with tells you that you have to tell your mother your big secret, or she will, you end up feeling like you don’t have much choice.

  1. Bisexuality isn’t real

So I went ahead and came out to my mother, late one night while she and I were just sitting in the lounge room watching T.V. I told her I was bisexual*. She smiled at me, but then she told me that bisexuality isn’t real. ‘People either like boys, or they like girls. And you have always liked boys,’ she said. And I was so crushed. In my eyes, this woman had been the pillar of progressive thinking in our family up until that point. She had been the one to teach me that there was nothing wrong with loving the same sex. But when I came out to her, she told me, as many tell their same-sex attracted children, ‘It’s just a phase. You’ll grow out of it.’ She went as far as to forbid me from telling anyone else about it, because it would be ‘social suicide’ (just in case the fact that she wouldn’t let me shave my legs when all the other girls at school did wasn’t already a central topic for bullying**).


CC image credit: Pablo Fernandez

  1. No apologies

A few months after that conversation, I got my first girlfriend. I decided not to tell my mum (and thankfully my so-called best friend decided not to force me this time, considering the reaction she had to my coming out). But I suppose when you have the same girl (who very openly identified as lesbian) over to your house multiple times a week, a mother would start to get suspicious. Anyway, after some poorly thought out Facebook privacy settings on my girlfriend’s part, and some stalking on my mother’s part, we got busted and I got my head ripped off for having a girlfriend behind her back. My reasons for not telling her meant nothing in that conversation and seven years later I have not received an apology for her reaction to when I came out, or her reaction to discovering that I had a girlfriend.

  1. My daughter isn’t a lesbian anymore

My dad did a pretty good job of being accepting that I had a girlfriend, but he still has a lot to learn. When my girlfriend and I broke up, his reaction was ‘So, my daughter isn’t a lesbian anymore’. I sort of just slammed my head into a wall. While I know the comment wasn’t malicious or intentionally dismissive, the ignorance still hurt. I’d never claimed to be a lesbian, even if I was in a relationship with another woman. And that break-up in no way marked the end of my feeling attracted to other women.

  1. You’re dating a guy, so you must be straight

To shift away from the high school days, I’ve now been in a relationship with a boy for several years. Unfortunately, despite these happy circumstances, people now assume that I must be straight. This is not only an assumption of my sexuality, but also of my boyfriend’s gender identity, which isn’t exactly cis anymore (though that isn’t public knowledge). I can’t express my frustration at having my sexual identity erased by people who make this heteronormative assumption based on what they see. I don’t think anyone has the right to assume somebody else’s sexual orientation or gender identity and I think in 2016 we’ve moved far enough away from homophobic and heteronormative dinosaur attitudes to know better.

Neither of my parents have acknowledged that I am still anything other than straight, and I doubt that my sexuality will cease to be erased while I’m in a seemingly heterosexual relationship. But that doesn’t make any of these things okay. It doesn’t stop them from hurting me. And it doesn’t stop them from hurting the masses of other people who are trying to come out, or have come out, as anything other than straight and cisgender.

Words by Rebecca K

*I stopped using the bisexual label when I got to uni, as I realised it didn’t quite fit for me. I now prefer the term pansexual.
**I still don’t shave my legs, but now it’s by choice rather than because someone told me I’m not allowed to.


I worked up the courage. It took just a little while, but I got there in the end. I took up a piece of scrap paper, and humbly scribed ‘Hey mum       I’m bisexual’. Gave that little slip of paper to my mum in the morning as we drank our tea.

Her first reaction was simply to say ‘No,’ seated on her comfortable couch while watching 8:00AM Sunrise on Channel Seven.

It destroyed me gently, for but a moment—and then she followed up a couple of seconds later with, ‘That’s okay.’

Some words later, she spoke ‘It’s just a phase, you’ll grow out of it.’


These words haunt me to this day. She’s convinced that (my) orientation is merely a phase in the step of adolescence. For the longest time I believed her and denied my feelings because I figured things would change.

This was the year of 2009, when I lived on the Gold Coast. The reason I considered myself bisexual was because I had developed feelings for a guy I met online in an LGBTI-friendly videogame server.

This was Eric—we got to know each other, admitted we liked one another. We’d never met face to face, but we’d still stay up till the wee hour of two in the morning exchanging banter about all the wild things that teenagers do.

I’ll save the intricate details of why it is that Eric and I broke apart, but it happened. I regressed and stopped considering my sexuality for a long time. I’m one of those, ‘Put all your issues on your shoulders, deal with them later’ kind of guys. So, for many years, I just ignored it all.


Fast forward several years: we’re now in late 2013. I got to know someone who is now one of my closest friends, Steph. They’re pretty cool, we’re both nerds who love Star Wars so much that we’d probably fight to the death to defend it. I’d probably go as far as to say that we know each other better than we know ourselves.

With the interactions that Steph and I shared (we both frequented an online writing community) I remembered that I still felt towards the same sex to some degree. The funny thing is, the reason this was all spurred on was because I’d jokingly hit on their boyfriend because I thought he was cute. (Because you’re allowed to admire someone else of the same sex, hetero or not!) Then I realised, ‘Woah. He’s sort of my type.’

Then I met Ramsey, another writer in this same online community. We bonded over our similar writing interests (genre, style, philosophy), and discovered how many common interests we had with each other. We went from writing friends, to romantic interests literally overnight—and I was extremely comfortable about it.

It’s just a phase, my mother told me. I’d grow out of it.

Yet here I am, chronicling who, and why I am.


Image credit: Rennett Stowe

Fast forward to 2015, my first year of university at Deakin. Like the dope I am, I signed up to the Deakin Pride Queer Society and met some wonderful people. I invited one such friend back to my home one extremely rainy day so we could eat pizza and bond over movies, or whatever it is that uni students talk about.

Eventually the rain eased up, and I walked this friend back to the tram stop. I got back home to a curious mother, watching The Project from the very same couch from six years prior.

‘Sooo, who is she?’

‘Just a friend from uni.’

‘From the Writers Club?’

‘No, no. One of the other ones.’

‘Which one?’

‘The Pride society.’

She looked confused, aired a short ‘Huh?’

‘Pride, like queer pride. You know: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans …’ I explained concisely.

The woman just screwed up her face a bit, and dismissed the idea as ‘confusing’, or something to that effect.

Confusing. A simple manner with which one person feels attraction to another sex, gender, or otherwise is confusing. It is this sort of lazy thinking which I’ve grown to despise. Sure, there are some things in the queer community that may need to be explained to newcomers, but this came down to a very simple ‘One person likes another person, that person happens to be of the same gender.’


It took me half a decade to realise who I am, at core. We’re all pretty different, and people around us might dismiss elements of what makes each, and every one of us a ‘being’. For me, I grew up with an ascetic identity: a lifestyle wherein I’ve deprived myself of who I was at core—with part thanks to a dismissive mother who struggles to comprehend quite simple ideas. To this day, I think she still considers me heterosexual—not one female friend I have, that she is aware of, is free from the ‘possible love interest’ inquiries.

I suppose the message I’m trying to convey is something to the effect of: be whoever it is that you believe you are. Don’t let other people convince you otherwise. But more importantly, don’t dismiss yourself and become an ascetic thinker.

It could take time to accept what you might, or might not be. Experiences mould us into the human beings that we are—let yourself blossom, and bloom at your own pace.

Words by A.J.W. Finlayson.

An Afterword for Fred Phelps

This article originally published in WORDLY ‘Time’ edition (2014) and Querelle 2015. 

Trigger Warnings: #Homophobia #Queerphobia #Violence #Murder #HateCrimes

Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, died on March 19th, 2014. He was an infamous figure; attending funerals across America simply to tell the friends and family of the deceased that their loved ones were going to Hell.

Considering this legacy it’s hard to imagine that Phelps was once well regarded in the African-American community for being a civil rights lawyer who would accept racial discrimination cases that no other lawyer cared to take. It was only following his permanent disbarring in 1979 that Phelps focused on his second career as a preacher.

Phelps and his family lived a half-mile from Gage Park, then a popular cruising area for men seeking homosexual encounters. According to Phelps, he had witnessed a man attempting to lure his five-year-old grandson into the park. All attempts to rally local government to put an end to the homosexual activity was met with no response, and so in 1991 Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church took it upon themselves to aggressively rally against the queer lifestyle.

It wasn’t until 1998 that Phelps gained national recognition. On October 12, 1998, 21-year-old Matthew Shepard, an openly gay man, died as a result of severe head injuries. Six days previously he had been tied to a fence and violently beaten into a coma. His murder was recognised as a hate crime and made news across the country, as did the Westboro Baptist Church, who picketed his funeral. It was the first of many such demonstrations.

When Phelps’ time came the world largely reacted the opposite way: There seemed to be a staunch and unspoken agreement that nobody was to take any joy from his death in the way that he had taken such a perverse glee in the deaths of others. Phelps invoked, in response to his bile, the basic good in humanity.

Phelps and his followers did more to damage their message than they did to reinforce it. Arguably they only succeeded in showing humanity at its worst, and those who responded would often show humanity at its best. Following Shepard’s funeral and Phelps’ stated intention to further picket outside the court case of the accused, Romaine Patterson, a friend of Shepard’s, organised a peaceful counter-protest. Phelps and his congregation were surrounded by a dozen people; each wore long white sheets elevated above their shoulders in the appearance of wings. The angels stood silently and smiled towards the gathered crowd.


CC image credit: cskk

In an advanced press release, Romaine Patterson stated:

“We bring forth a message—from God, if you will: love, respect, and compassion for everyone is why we are here today. I could no longer sit idly by and watch others bring forth messages that were nothing more than vindictive and hate-filled. There doesn’t need to be this kind of violence and hatred in our world. Loving one another doesn’t mean that we have to compromise our beliefs; it simply means that we choose to be compassionate and respectful of others.”

This was the first in a series of Angel Action counter-protests. To this day Angel Action volunteers will follow the Westboro Baptist Church to funerals and surround the protestors. Instead of picketers, the attendants of funerals will only see angels when saying goodbye.

All inquiries directed towards the Phelps’ family and church about the burial and potential funeral were met with the simple and terse response: “We do not worship the dead.”

I don’t think funerals are an attempt at worshiping the dead, they simply allow us to say goodbye to the ones who have left us. Eulogies allow us to tell the story of their lives and how much they meant to us. A funeral is an epilogue, where remaining plot threads can be tied up. A eulogy can act as an afterword wherein the things that remained unsaid can finally be expressed. And then when all is said and done we close the book and put it away. Part of it will stay with us, we will remember certain chapters and lines of dialogue, but the story itself is over. What is life if not a set of interconnected stories in which we are each our own protagonist? When we die, it is stories that we leave behind, through them we are remembered. Maybe that is a kind of afterlife. Maybe if a story is good enough it can live forever.

It is worth mentioning that Phelps and his followers never claimed to hate queer people, and only assured us that God did. In fact, most people who have attempted to talk to the congregation have reported that their responses have been cordial, sometimes even kind, in return. It’s all too easy to write Phelps and his church off as the villains. In truth, people are generally too complicated for that. These people see themselves as a last stand against casual sin and blasphemy, and they are offering us the chance to redeem ourselves. In a sense, they are trying to be kind.

All too often when a person first realises that they are queer, they begin to view their story as a tragedy. Yet in the face of irrational hatred and cruelty of people like Phelps it becomes easier to allow yourself a plot-twist. You can have a villain and then, by simple virtue of your own existence, begin to believe that you are a hero. It may sound grandiose and self-centred, but it can help you to survive.

Phelps’ final days remain shrouded in secrecy. I’d like to think that at some point he had questioned his beliefs or felt regret for his actions, but we will never know. I take no satisfaction in considering that Phelps now may be in Hell, nor do I have any theories on the existence of a literal Hell. I do, however, have a theory that in life, hell is at least a state of mind. You do not need to remain in that personal hell forever. Anyone consumed by such virulent bitterness and cruelty as Phelps was must be in a hell of their own making. I can only hope that he found peace in the end.

Whatever you thought of him, Fred Phelps was to some a father, a grandfather and maybe even a friend. I am sure he was loved and that he will be mourned. I too have lost people that I loved, and I have only sympathy for those that he left behind.

On the March 23rd, 2014, four short days after the death of Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church picketed outside a Lorde concert, Lorde being an advocate of queer rights. They arrived to see a gathering of people across the road and a banner that simply stated “Sorry for Your Loss.” I think that is the best way to end the story of Fred Phelps; not in acts of hatred or cruelty, but in a muted act of kindness.

Words by Patrick Amarant

If You Could Only See

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already passed the stage when you first realise that everything has changed: people, work, and your life. At many points, this realisation hits again and makes you wonder, ‘Did I really miss out? Did I lose something precious in my life?’ Then, there comes a playback of memories from every phase of your life; from the childhood you cherished and crazy school days, to the adventures of university and the shift into work life. You take into consideration the opportunities you passed up, and you think about how things would be different if you had taken them. You wonder if the decisions you made to get you to this point were the right ones, or if you could have chosen your path better. And through it all, you note the way you’ve changed over time, or pretended to change, and why—who for? For what purpose?

If Only You Could See

Image source: Pexels

You miss BEING YOURSELF. And with that realisation, you tell yourself, perhaps not for the first time, that you should enjoy the way you are and accept your flaws: embrace them and smile at them wholeheartedly. The fault is not on your end. These undesirable changes that you have only noticed in hindsight occurred from being around people whom you met accidentally in life, but who you now realise were not worth changing for. Back then, you didn’t feel like you had any choice but to change for them, in order to have some peace of mind and be accepted by others according to their standards. Perhaps you’re still changing for other people today. With time and experience you realise that you didn’t owe them anything nor were they an integral part of your life. For them you changed, compromised your identity and lost some of your self-respect, but five years down the line they are not there for you anymore.

You did everything you could to make them happy, yet if you could only see that you actually battled different inner personalities to be the one they liked, the one they wanted, and the one they expected, you’d realise it was never really worth it. Discard they, replace it with you and read it aloud. Feel yourself, your conscience, your strength. Feel your greatness, simplicity, and worth. You can teach yourself to take any aspect of what makes you the person you are, and visualise it on your own terms and not through the perceptions of others. You can eventually feel placidness in mind and heart, instead of the constant worry of what other people think. Learn to let go of everything and be yourself. Exhilarate in the joyfulness of having your own identity, live in the present and breathe. You own your self-respect; make an effort to maintain it. When you start to stand up for yourself against the haters, there stops being room for them to put you down.

Words by Nisha Subhanje

Club Spotlight: Deakin Health Promotion Society (DHPS)

Just over two years ago, an idea was cooked up in the brain of a health-wise Deakin student. That idea has now expanded to a university club of around 150 members and growing: the Deakin Health Promotion Society.

Our focus is on promoting all aspects of health to the community and connecting students to opportunities that will further their careers in the health industry.


In order to achieve this we have organised many events this trimester, going off the success of activities from the past couple of years. This includes hosting soup and smoothie stalls on campus, which encourage both healthy eating and small donations to various charities. The next major event will be a careers night, in which we will host a panel of health professionals from a range of areas to talk about their pathways and engage with the students who have an interest in that career. Throughout the month of April we will encourage an active lifestyle by providing fun, affordable and accessible exercise classes on campus. We also aim to assist in promoting volunteering opportunities, both individually and as a group.  These events will be available to all students, regardless of whether you’re a member or not.

Health promotion is defined by the World Health Organization as ‘the process of enabling people to increase control over, and improve their health’, and this is precisely what the Deakin Health Promotion Society strives to do within the Deakin community.

To get involved in what the DHPS does, sign up at the DUSA office or online.

For more information, visit and Like the DHPS Facebook page.

By Bethany Griffiths

For the Night is Dark and Full of Spoilers

On 8th March, HBO released the first trailer for season six of Game of Thrones and it has since garnered over 24 million views on YouTube. The new season is set to be released in April, and for the first time those who’ve read the books are no better informed than those who watch the show. This is partially due to the creative choices of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who have been deviating further and further from the source material with each passing season. But mostly it is down to what is probably an unprecedented state of affairs: for the first time in television history*, a TV adaptation has overtaken the book series on which it is based.

A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin is a slow writer, something his legions of fans lament louder each month that passes without a hint of his sixth book, The Winds of Winter, appearing on the shelves. Combine that with the swift pace of Game of Thrones production and it becomes inevitable that this situation would come about. What this means for the fans, however, is far less clear-cut.

As a bona fide ‘have read the books’ snob, I can inform readers that up until recently the more optimistic Song of Ice and Fire fans were holding out for an early 2016 Winds of Winter release, which would allow us to finish the book before season six started airing and thus avoid potential spoilers and retain our air of superiority. Sadly for us this has not occurred, and George Martin got himself in hot water recently when he revealed that he originally planned to have The Winds of Winter finished by Halloween last year to allow for an early 2016 release, but blew through that deadline and a follow-up deadline on 31st December. Curse you, you slow typing serial killer. Curse you to the seven hells!

Thankfully for show fans, George Martin’s snail-paced fingers have saved them from yet another season of teasing hints and gloating from book readers. For the first time in Game of Thrones history, book and show fans are diving into a new season on level ground, and this is why the season six trailer is so important. For those who haven’t watched it, it does what all trailers do: gives us a few hints of what is to come without revealing anything truly important. We see soldiers in battle, arrows firing, windows breaking in, Drogon flying and women kissing: all the hallmarks of what makes Game of Thrones great. But there is also a mournful tone to this trailer; it opens with an image of Jon Snow’s bloody corpse and the words ‘he’s gone’, and as we see each of our surviving favourites in turn they all seem to be suffering: Jaime and Cersei are mourning their daughter, a careworn Jorah searches for Daenerys, Melisandre is confronting failure, Arya gets hit, Daenerys is a ragged slave amidst a Dothraki horde, and Tyrion looks unshaven and afraid. There’s a real sense even in one minute and forty-one seconds of everything that’s been lost, exacerbated by the sorrowful melody of James Vincent McMorrow’s ‘Wicked Game’. Whatever this season is, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be happy. But by now that’s what we expect.


Image Source: HBO

But it’s not all doom and gloom; with a new season comes new possibilities. Rumours have been swirling ever since season five ended that Jon Snow is not really dead, and high profile actors Max von Sydow and Ian McShane are joining the crew. On top of this Isaac Hempstead-Wright is returning as Bran after his character’s one-season hiatus, looking older and more capable though faced with more deadly foes. I’m quite looking forward to not knowing what will come next, safe in knowledge that thanks to the show’s independence any and all revelations will only be confirmed as spoilers by reading The Winds of Winter when it is released. And book readers do have something exclusive to look forward to; after some humming and harring George Martin has decided to go ahead with a twist for book six that the show cannot do as they have already killed one of the characters involved. That’s what you get for ignoring the source material, fools! I kid. Game of Thrones is an excellent show, and everyone who watches season six is in for a treat, as (blink and you’ll miss it) the trailer shows part of a flashback sequence featuring Ned Stark in battle against the Kingsguard. As for where the fight is and what they’re fighting over, well, us book readers know, but giving any hints would just be spoiling it.

Happy viewing everyone!

WORDLY’s resident medieval fantasy correspondent,
Rowan Girdler


*Probably. I didn’t check or anything. (Editor’s note: definitely not!)




Welcome Back

Welcome back to Deakin. Perhaps you’ve been here in previous years, or perhaps you only came for the first time last week. You may have found orientation a bit … disorienting. There was so much going on; people were bestowing you with free food and pens, you were being badgered to join clubs and societies by their excitable executive teams and their minions volunteers, and you tried to decide between the Beach Party and the Jungle Party—or perhaps your bank account decided for you, like mine did, and you feel like you missed out on all the alcohol-fuelled fun. Or perhaps you’re not into that whole partying thing—which is totally cool too (your liver will thank you).


Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), House of Cards, Season 2, Episode 1. Image source: gifrific

With week 1 comes your first week of classes for the trimester. There’s a slim chance you took a look at the study material on CloudDeakin that was released last week, but you probably haven’t forgotten how to procrastinate—you’ve had that down-pat since high school.  If this is your first year, you’ll be meeting your teachers for the first time. If you’ve been here before, maybe you’ll have a teacher you already know. Whatever the case, they’re going to give you homework to do before the next class, word counts and deadlines for your assignments, and expect you to start referencing like a boss.

It’s overwhelming. Even if you’ve been at university previously, starting a new year always has a few hiccups while you adjust the rest of your life to your class timetable, or try adjusting your timetable around the rest of your life. It’s exhausting. You’re not used to getting up this early and having to think or talk to people. You forget how early you need to go to bed to compensate for that early start. You start drinking a lot more coffee. Your assignment deadlines creep up behind your pile of weekly classwork and rear their ugly heads over the mountain of unread papers you were planning to reference in your essays AND YOU COLLAPSE INTO A SOBBING HEAP ON THE FLOOR OF YOUR BEDROOM AND ADOPT THE FOETAL POSITION!!!

… Okay, it’s not actually that bad. I promise. Take a deep breath. If this isn’t your first time at university, then remember that you’ve done this before and you’re still alive, so you’ve got this. If you’re fresh out of high school, compare how many classes you had to take then to how many you have to take now—it’s probably less, the teaching periods aren’t as long, and university is way more fun. You’re going to be fine! And if you took a bit of a break between high school and uni, or if you took a different pathway to get here, you’ve probably got your head screwed on better, with more life experience and gaffer tape, than all the young’uns who still remember the ATAR scores they got last year.

In any case, welcome, and welcome back. 2016 will only be as good or as bad as you allow it to be, so choose to make it great no matter what.


Words by Bonnee Crawford. 


In the chilly Richmond Theatrette last Saturday night, I was waiting in the lobby after purchasing my ticket to the opening night of this Melbourne Fringe Festival show when a door was opened and the notes of a guitar began to sing out, along with the voice of the guitarist himself. Ross Cottee greeted the guests of the first show of ‘Quippings Disability Unleashed’ with his unique and fearless performance as he walked through the people watching on, waiting to enter the theatre. This first segment of the night was given a well-deserved applause before Ross handed over to the one and only Emma J Hawkins, who introduced herself as the night’s MC. Emma’s excitement was infectious and her superb MCing skills were exhilarating as she introduced the show before ushering us inside.

Our instructions as we entered the theatre were not to take a seat, but to stand around the chairs in a circle facing out. Emma invited the audience to see, but also to be seen while we met the performers for the night. In the minutes that followed, the members of the audience were examined and scrutinized by the performers as they walked around us. The minutes ticked by in discomfort as they demonstrated what it felt like to be stared at and judged based on what someone walking past you could see. After this, we took our seats and I knew we were in for a memorable night of performances.

Emma J Hawkins segmented the rest of the night by announcing at intervals contestants for the ‘Most Inspiring Person with a Disability Award’, each of whom was portrayed by the hilarious and satirical Kath Duncan. This send-up of people who work in the disability sector sent a very clear message: do not pigeon-hole the people you claim to be trying to support, because all that is, is degrading.


The night continued with a dance routine to ‘I Am What I Am’ by Emma J Hawkins wearing a unicorn head, which was funny, inspiring, and unnerving (that unicorn head stared unblinkingly into my soul) all in one. This was followed by a seductive piece of spoken word poetry, in which Jax Jackie Brown beguiled us with the pleasures and pains of having piercings on some of the most sensitive parts of your body—and yes, the costume is meant to be exactly what you thought it looked like when you first saw it. Budding comedienne Natalie Corrigan gave a universally relatable reminder of the interpretive dance we’ve all done with the toilet bowl, before leading on to tell us what really gives her the shits about people who campaign for disability awareness in all the wrong and undignifying ways.

As we get to the later half of the show, the content gets heavier. The lights dimmed for the next part of the show. The audience was graced with an amazing routine by trained dancer Sonia Marcon, defying the limitations of multiple sclerosis, which was accompanied by a voiceover describing the hardships of everyday life for people living with a disability. Carly Findlay then recited a letter to her potential future child in which she challenged old ideas about social acceptance of disability, including both her fears and her hopes, and her support for a woman’s right to choose what happens with her body. The final blow is delivered by Assistant Director Jarrod Marrinon, who left us with a eulogy to his late girlfriend, disability activist Madeleine Sobb, who passed away earlier in the year. Jarrod’s eulogy was both heartbreaking and heart-warming, filled with humour and windows into his relationship with Madeleine. And last but not least, to wrap up the show, the beautiful Sugarcane (Daye Han) shared her equally lovely voice with the uplifting ‘First Song’ which she wrote on request for Jarrod and a friend Isaac Ishadi, and originally performed by their band ‘Chelsie and the Sea Dragon’.

And suddenly the night was over. So many performances with such profound impacts on the audience had passed in waves of hilarity, sadness, and delight. Quippings Disability Unleashed is a fantastic set of performances which prove how strong, inspiring and influential an individual can be despite whatever hardships life may throw at them. Don’t miss out on seeing their shows on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September at the Richmond Theatrette.

Follow the link to their Facebook page for more info:

Review by Bonnee Crawford.